Intro to Journalism - Mrs. Long
Chapter 3 Key Terms
Anecdotal lead: A ministory, with a beginning, middle and ending, used to ease into a topic.
AP style: The style used by the Associated Press; the industry standard.
Attribution: Citing the source of information.
Blind lead: An extreme version of the delayed-identification lead; teases readers by withholding
a key piece of information, and then springs it on them in a subsequent paragraph.
Bury the lead: To put the most important facts in a news story deep into the body of the story
rather than at the beginning.
Circle kicker: A story ending that refers to a person or anecdote in the lead.
Clichés: Trite, worn-out phrases. Omit them.
Deadline: The set time by which a story must be turned in to an editor.
Delayed-identification lead: Withholds a significant piece of information – usually a person’s
name – until the second paragraph.
Direct address lead: Uses the second-person voice to speak directly to the reader in feature
Editors: People who read news stories and make changes in them to make them more readable.
Fair: Getting all sides of a story.
Five W’s: Who, what, when, where, why – the building blocks of every news story.
Immediate-identification lead: Names a public figure or a celebrity in the lead.
Inverted pyramid: The most basic story structure. The most important facts are placed at the
top with less important details following in descending order. Story structure looks like an
upside-down pyramid.
Jargon: Language spoken by bureaucrats or language that is recognizable to a certain profession
but not the general public. Jargon excludes people from understanding. Avoid it.
Journalese: The type of jargon used by journalists. Omit it.
Kabob: A story structure that begins with an anecdote about a specific person, continues with a
nut graf and general discussion, and ends with another anecdote – much like vegetables and meat
on a skewer. Also called the Wall Street Journal formula because reporters from that newspaper
use the structure often.
Kicker: The end of a story.
Lead (or lede): The beginning of a news story.
Martini glass: A story structure that begins as an inverted pyramid but shifts into a
chronological narrative about halfway into the story. Also called the hourglass. It’s best used for
stories in which chronology is important, such as crime and disaster stories.
Narrative lead: A beginning that drops the reader into the action immediately. The action often
continues throughout the story.
Nut graf: Paragraph that contains the reason for writing the story, the reason why readers should
care about the story.
Objective: Communicating by using facts, not opinions.
Question lead: A beginning that asks a question; usually fails to get to the point of the story
quick enough.
Intro to Journalism - Mrs. Long
Quote lead: A beginning that is a direct quotation; fails to summarize what happened. The quote
states an opinion, not a fact, and readers don’t know who is speaking.
Roundup lead: A beginning that presents a list of things or events that happened.
Scene-setter lead: A beginning that describes sights, sounds and smells to transport the reader to
another place; usually reserved for long feature stories as it lacks the urgency of the hard-news
Sidebar: A short story written to accompany a longer story.
Startling statement (or zinger): A sentence that grabs readers’ attention with an astonishing fact
or piece of information, daring them to continue reading.
Style: (1) The way a person writes. (2) The rules that govern punctuation, capitalization and
word usage.
Summary lead: A beginning that combines the most significant of the five W’s into one
sentence; used in the majority of news stories.
SVO sentences: Sentences written in subject-verb-object order. Example: Jane (subject) threw
(verb) the ball (object).
Topic lead: A beginning that states only that an event occurred, without including the outcome;
fails to convey the news.
Wordplay lead: The use of puns, sound effects, typography or witticisms to begin a story.